I'm wondering if the editor ever noticed that this may have something to do with the lack of respect shown to people already living in Hawaii? When you visit or move to another country you adapt not try to impose your way of living on others.
I'm wondering if the writer of above post ever noticed that this may have something to do with the lack of respect shown to people who were already living in Hawaii? All living in our multi-cultural Hawai'i benefit immensely from the cultural diversity and practices (aloha included) that were present here before the European rooted cultures dominated the 'aina with attitudes of supremacy and ownership that assumed a lack of intelligence by the native born population already residing here.
Taking the time to understanding the entire history of what we now call Hawai'i nei can be very helpful to all living here now. A great book that has recently been republished called 'Peoples and Cultures of Hawaii-A Psychocultural Profile, by McDermott, Tseng, Maretzki originally published in 1980 by John Burns School of Medicine and University of Hawaii Press ISBN 0-8248-0706-5 is a great start.
I found the article to be open, honest, inclusive of many points of view and well written. Very much appreciated are the maps. More articles like this would be welcomed by this reader.
To the above writter. Anywhere benefits from cultural diversity. That's not the point. The point is the general lack of respect for anyone else. The "You owe me" attitude. Let me ask how many Micronesian families do you have living in about 100 yard radius of you. How many have taken things from your yard or garage? How many harass older people, pick on younger childern or just have a general lack of respect for anyone? Reading is good but, lets be real books tell about life. How about living it and not just reading it. Come to where the majority of the people live. Kalihi, Downtown Honolulu, Waipahu or Kakaako Park. Live there not visit and go back home. You know it's not all that are bad but, enough that make an impact.
Thank you Chad for the wonderful and eye opening article. I am a fellow Micronesian myself from Pohnpei and I didn't know the discrimination was that bad. I know Hawaiians have the right to be angry because there's a lot of Micronesian immigrants living there. I know some of them ( and i say some because compared to the population of other races, we're still at the bottom of the food chain) are not behaving as they should be as newcomers to the Hawaiian islands, but lets not stereotype them all because of a few rascals. This is just my opinion, and I do not wish to IMPOSE it on anyone. Again, thanks Chad for believing in equality to EVERYONE....
Hey! When I dress like a homeless person, people treat me differently!!!
When I dress like a prostitute, people treat me differently!!
When I wear a thong bikini to Manoa Safeway at night, or to church on Sunday, people treat me differently!!!
I did not realize this until I saw how they treat me when I wear clothes similar to everyone else (aloha, muumuu).
MUST BE RACISM!!!
I think not....
Maybe its not the person, its the clothes...?
I disagree with those complaining about a lack of aloha spirit towards Micronesians. Where on this planet do they think that they would be treated better? Nowhere! And our tax dollars are seriously limited and need to be prioritized.
That said, I beliveve that anywhere in the world, minorities who adapt to their new home by blending in to the local scene will fare better. If I am traveling in a foreign country, I learn about the customs of the place where I am going, including dress and appearance. If I actually moved to a new place where the people of that country were sporting me, I would bend over backwards to learn the language, culture, and values. That's just common sense.
Aloha everyone, thank you so much for reading and taking the time to comment on this piece. If you'd like to join others in this discussion, you can do so here:
For me, after four years of living in Hawaii, I still feel like a privileged guest. Being in the minority has been a humbling learning opportunity. At times it can be mentally draining, but for the most part the experience has helped me grow.
Chad's article, "No Aloha for Micronesians in Hawaii" http://www.civilbeat.com/articles/2011/06/20/11650-no-aloha-for-micronesians-in-hawaii/ describes life for a group of people that experiences this on a far greater level. I witness it firsthand being a surfer who frequents spots where Micronesian people spend their weekends.
There is a very apparent separation between folks like myself and Micronesian people. The language barrier is difficult and certain behaviors can turn onlookers off. I myself have been guilty of feeling anger when a child throws a soda can in the water and laughs. It doesn't have much to do with being Micronesian – maybe a little more parental supervision is all that was needed.
But it's more than that. The parks where I surf are overcrowded, mostly with Micronesian people who celebrate with large gatherings. Many of the families are not conscious of cleaning up after themselves so the negative notion of, "Micronesian people are dirty" seems to grow inaccurately. It's not the race of people, it's just those individuals who represent them badly.
Legally speaking I'm not sure how I feel about the medical and financial support Micronesian people are receiving from Hawaii. Testing bombs on their home is terrible and the fact that families are still suffering from medical problems is even worse. But are we really helping by supporting them? If everything was given to me for free perhaps I'd lose my drive to learn and grow as well.
In either case, I think we need to do more to simply say "hello" more often and make some friendly eye contact. I've always had a pleasant conversation with the kids at the park who ask me about my surfboard. They always tell me to be careful because, "it's dangerous out there." They also tell me that surfing is gross because people pee in the water.
You have to admit they have a point. (Sorry, this turned out to be a bit of a rambling).
This is a problem created by the attitudes of the federal government during the 50s and 60s. Many, many promises were made to the Micronesians in order to use their islands as nuclear test sites. Think about it--your homeland used for nuclear testing!!! Now there are repercussions to the social and physical disruption of a people. They are having to move from a subsistence lifestyle to the 21st century within two generations. The feds have created the burden for Hawaii--they should pick up the tab. It is very understandable why Micronesians would move here--weather is similar, there are some cultural similarities, and they do blend in (unless they dress or speak differently.) They need help navigating our society. As a teacher, it is challenging to communicate to the families of students. The family structure is very male dominated and sometimes female teachers are ignored or disregarded. Most want to try to help their children succeed but simply are overwhelmed with so many challenges.
The background story should be required reading for all teachers and students. Discrimination just prolongs problems by creating more isolation and fear.
I just wanted to point out that the behavior of an individual or "some" individuals do not neccessarily determine the behavior of an entire race. Yes, it is true that there are micronesians who commit bad crimes but hey, take a look around, not all of them are bad people. I hear in school all about "micronesians carrying knives, micronesian stealing from people, fighting in public" and that is not all entirely true. Im inside out pure micronesian, however i was born and raised here in Hawaii. I face the same discrimination newcomers from my island also face. I dont see why Micronesians are stereotyped when EVERYONE whether hawaiian, samoan, caucasian, asian all are capable of doing those things also. Its just unfair. &Truth be told, when a micronesian learns about another micronesian committing a crime, they dont praise them. Its either their parents didnt teach them well or they have no manners at all.